Apple Announces iMac Hard Drive Replacement Program, Runs Out Of Hard Drive

Image courtesy of (FlySi)


Apple has recalled Carla’s iMac. Specifically, the hard drive, which was made by Seagate, and has has a record of failing more than a hard drive should. Customers were told to bring their computers in so that Apple could swap the hard drive for a nice new one. Carla made her appointment as instructed, but when she got to the store, learned that the replacement hard drives were out of stock and they’d have to hold on to her computer for a week while waiting for them to restock.

Last Friday Apple sent an email saying the iMac I had purchased in January 2011 had a faulty Seagate hard drive. Seems said hard drive had crashed so much, that Apple came to the conclusion it made sense to recall all affected models and replacing with a new hard drive at no cost.

Okay, so far, so good. Bad things happen to good computers–and Apple was proactively dealing with a brewing problem.

The email instructed me to make an appointment to get my hard drive replaced. I purposely decided to wait until the following Wednesday (today) on the notion it might be good to give the store/system time to get up to speed on dealing with this recalll.. I also added a note to my online Genius Bar appointment that said “hey, could you let me know if the new drive isn’t in stock, and I will reschedule?”

You can sense where this is headed: I arrive for my appointment, with my 24-inch computer in tow. And I am told: “Hey, the drive isn’t in stock. But you can leave your computer here for 5-7 days and we’ll get the work done.”

No apology. No acknowledgment that leaving a desk top for a week might be an inconvenience. Typical nice/smug Genius attitude: hey, it’s YOUR problem, not ours.

So to recap: Apple issues a recall–and informs me my email. They instruct me to make an appointment. But then they don’t bother to make sure stores have ample inventory. Or god forbid, might they have included in the notification email that it would be best to call ahead of an appointment to check inventory, because, hey, hey, we take no responsibility for prepping our stores to deal with the recall we initiated.

As for leaving my computer for 7 days: It’s an interesting business model to assume people don’t need their desktops. I happen to use mine for work. Yes, I have a laptop (Macbook AIR) but it’s not optimal for a long day of work stuff.

I’d love to hear from corporate HQ the thought process behind issuing a recall and the ensuring customers would have a horrible customer experience if they did EXACTLY what Apple instructed them to do.

For the record: I took my computer home. Will wait for a call when the drive is in stock, and then I will re-schlep back to the store


Yes, someone who depends on their computer for work should have a backup, but that doesn’t mean that it’s totally cool for a customer to hand their computer over so it can wait around for a week.

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